Woohoo! My samples from Harney and Sons arrived late this afternoon. I was like…a squirrel in the road! It was like…target confusion! What to drink first? What to drink first?
This may seem crazy, but I decided to save the ones I am most excited about for later. I try to taste new things with a friend so that we both get to experience something new and different and so that there is more sharing of thoughts on the tea.
I went with the Dong Ding Light, though I confess to repeatedly sniffing Blue Ginger which is driving me CRAZY with passion and I might just drink before my friend comes over Sunday. LOL!
The smell of the leaves was really, really nice. Many oolongs have a rich and strong aroma that reminds me of a can of paint when you open it. Don’t hate me! That is just what it smells like to me and I LIKE it! Perhaps I can find a more acceptable description someday. Maybe I should say that paint reminds me of oolong leaves, rather than the other way ’round!
First steep – I put two teaspoons in my small ceramic pot and steeped for almost five minutes. This tea is exactly what they said. The first sips were really milky but not creamy, and as I continued sipping, the lemony flavor came out and added that little bite. The liquor was a bright yellow that I would call pineapple yellow. I did use more leaf than they call for because I knew I wanted to resteep and resteep, plus my pot is about 8 ounces. As I start to cook, I notice that sweet aftertaste that comes with some green and oolong teas and seems reserved for those that have a bit of bite!
Second steep – unabated! This is just as strong as the first, maybe stronger! Our Kashi Spinach and Mushroom Pizza was ready so we took this out to the patio to have dinner. With food, the bite of the lemon flavor no longer registers as lemon, but rather is strength to let you pair this with food and still taste your tea.
Third steep – still eating pizza and drinking tea. These leaves are still going strong. I steeped it for five minutes this time.
I have to say that the description on the H&S site seems dead on accurate to me. I think I would give it a higher rating than they did, though, It is refreshing to see a company put honest ratings on their tea, or leaving ratings off, rather than falsifying them like happened with that other company a number of months back.
Thank you, Russel Allyn and Harney and Sons for letting me taste these teas!